Volume 23 - Article 2 | Pages 41-62

The differential impact of mortality of American troops in the Iraq War: The non-metropolitan dimension

By Katherine J. Curtis, Collin Payne

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Date received:03 Apr 2009
Date published:06 Jul 2010
Word count:5627
Keywords:ethnicity, Iraq War, military, military mortality, mortality, non-metropolitan impact, race/ethnicity


This study investigates the disproportionate impact of mortality among United States troops in Iraq on rural communities. We advance scholarly research and popular accounts that suggest a non-metropolitan disadvantage by disaggregating the risk of mortality according to the metropolitan status of their home county and by examining potential sources of variation, including enlistment, rank and race or ethnicity. Results show that troops from non-metropolitan areas have higher mortality after accounting for the disproportionate enlistment of non-metropolitan youth, and the non-metropolitan disadvantage generally persists across military branch and rank. Moreover, most of the differential is due to higher risks of mortality for non-metropolitan African American and Hispanic military personnel, compared to metropolitan enlistees of the same race or ethnicity.

Author's Affiliation

Katherine J. Curtis - University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States of America [Email]
Collin Payne - University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States of America [Email]

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